Many socially monogamous species paradoxically show signs of strong sexual selection, suggesting cryptic sources of sexual competition among males. Darwin argued that sexual selection could operate in monogamous systems if breeding sex ratios are biased or if some males attract highly fecund females. Alternatively, sexual selection might result from promiscuous copulations outside the pair bond, although several recent studies have cast doubt on this possibility, in particular by showing that variance in apparent male reproductive success (number of social young) differs little from variance in actual male reproductive success (number of young sired). Our results from a long-term study of the socially monogamous splendid fairy-wren (Malurus splendens) demonstrate that such comparisons are misleading and do not adequately assess the effects of extra-pair paternity (EPP). By partitioning the opportunity for selection and calculating Bateman gradients, we show that EPP has a strong effect on male annual and lifetime fitness, whereas other proposed mechanisms of sexual selection do not. Thus, EPP drives sexual selection in this, and possibly other, socially monogamous species.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 61 • No. 9